Projects

Kathleen Valley

The Kathleen Valley Lithium Project is a Tier-1 battery metals asset with excellent grade and scale in one of world’s best mining districts. First production is expected in Q2, 2024.

Location

Kathleen Valley is located in an established mining region about 60 km north of Leinster, and 680km north-east of Perth, Western Australia.

The site is readily accessible by sealed highways which connect with mineral exporting ports at Geraldton and Esperance. Other local infrastructure includes a high voltage power line, a natural gas pipeline and sealed airstrips capable of taking 100 seat jets.

Geology

Kathleen Valley is located on the western edge of the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt within the Archaean Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia. The belt consists dominantly of mafic and ultramafic volcanic rocks as well as considerable volumes of clastic sedimentary rocks, minor felsic volcanics and differentiated gabbros.  The greenstones in the Kathleen Valley area have been metamorphosed to upper greenschist-lower amphibolite facies metamorphic grades and include tholeiitic lavas, differentiated gabbroic sills and ultramafic chlorite schists.

Lithium mineralisation is hosted within spodumene-bearing pegmatite dykes.

Twenty mineralised pegmatites have been modelled at the Kathleen Valley Project hosted by two, outcropping, NW/SE trending pegmatite swarms – a shallowly-dipping, north-eastern swarm, and a steeper dipping south-western swarm. The two swarms are interpreted to merge at depth to form a single, thick, moderately dipping mineralised body which remains open down-dip and along strike.

Mineralised pegmatites have been intersected over a strike length of 1.7km and to a vertical depth of 600m.

Drilling has confirmed multiple high grade zones including individual metres grading >5% Li2O and intercepts of up to 3.8% Li2O over 21m and 3.4% Li2O over 7m.

Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve

The Project has a current Mineral Resource Estimate of 156Mt at 1.4% Li2O and 130ppm Ta2O5 (as of April 2021).  Over 80% of the Mineral Resource is classified as Measured or Indicated.

An Ore Reserve of 69Mt at 1.34% Li2O and 120ppm Ta2O5 supports an expected mine life of ~23 years.


Click here for Mineral Resources, Ore Reserves and CP Statements.

Operations

The operations have been designed for an initial 2.5Mtpa, producing ~500ktpa of spodumene concentrate with a 4Mtpa expansion planned in Year 6, to deliver ~700ktpa spodumene concentrate.

Mining will predominately be underground, allowing direct access to higher grade mineralisation while minimising waste and the environmental footprint of the project.

Mined ore will be processed through a Whole of Ore Flotation  circuit which will provide an estimated recovery rate of 78% across the mine life and an estimated site recovery for tantalum concentrate of 42%.

Feasibility Report

A Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) was released in November 2021.  The study outlines a Tier-1 global lithium project with exceptionally strong financial and technical merits, combined with a class-leading sustainability and ESG framework that is being fully integrated with the development.

The DFS delivered exceptional results including NPV8% of A$4.2b and IRR at 57%.  Capital costs are estimated at A$473m, and the project is expected to return free cash flow of A$12.2b over the life of the mine.

Click here to read the Definitive Feasibility ReportClick here to see a summary presentation of the Definitive Feasibility Report

See Also